Thursday, September 3, 2015

Scream: The TV Series--season finale recap & review

by Melissa Parkin 

And the killer is…

Wait for it…

Wait for it…

Eliza Morse/MTV
Lakewood’s bloodbath comes to an end, but not before a few more residents bite the dust. Picking up right where we left off, Ghostface crashes the school’s Halloween party by hacking into the projection feed, showing the live video of Keiran’s father, Sheriff Hudson, bloody, beaten, and bound by the masked killer. To make matters worse, news hits that Seth Branson has escaped police custody and that a deputy was murdered during said breakout.

Emma’s mother demands that her daughter stay at the dance, given the heavy police presence there. She heads over to the precinct to examine the crime scene, where it’s clear that it’s been staged. Emma dials Keiran, but he ignores the calls as he oh-so suspiciously loads up his revolver inside his car. She tries reaching Brooke next with the same rotten luck, as Noah attempts to trace the killer’s location via the hijacked video feed. Piper assures Emma that she’ll head over to Brooke’s place to make sure she’s okay. The podcaster warns Emma not to trust anyone as she heads out. Ghostface calls Emma, leaving her a trail of breadcrumbs to follow in regard to the Sheriff’s location. When she relays the message to her mother, the pair cracks the clue and races to Maggie’s old house where they find Sheriff Hudson bound and gagged against the tree where Brandon used to leave Daisy gifts. Maggie rejoices in the discovery that Hudson’s still alive, but the elation turns to horror as she cuts the binds holding him to the tree and all his intestines pour right out into her hands. Talk about spilling your guts…

Emma later receives word from Noah that malware is wreaking havoc on the local cell network, revealing why Brooke isn’t receiving any of Emma’s messages. Most unfortunate of all, Noah manages to triangulate the killer’s cell…to Brooke’s house in the midst of her party. Jake crashes the festivities, igniting a fight between him and Brooke. She storms off inside just before everyone outside at the pool flees the premises upon finding a fellow partier dead in the pool house. Audrey comes face-to-face with the killer, who slams her against the side of the house with a knife primed and ready to stab the teen.

Unbeknownst to the hysteria, Brooke eventually comes back out to the deserted poolside in disappointment, believing everyone simply bailed on her. She heads inside the house just as Seth Branson shows up, claiming that Ghostface broke into the precinct and killed the deputy in an attempt to frame him. Brooke doesn’t buy the story and locks him outside just before the lights go out around the pool. Brooke stares out at the darkness in confusion when the electricity returns and Ghostface appears in place of Seth. She races away as the killer breaks down the door, and the girl hides inside her father’s unplugged chest freezer, where he previously stored a dead drug addict’s body. Ghostface bests her by locking her inside and tossing the chest about before stabbing the freezer’s walls from every direction, cutting the girl. To make matters worse, the killer plugs in the freezer, and leaves her to die.

Noah and Emma arrive on scene, coming across the abandoned property. To Emma’s utter horror, the pair finds Piper’s car parked outside with her phone and glasses on the ground, and blood smeared across the driver side door. As they head up to the front porch, Kieran comes out from around the corner with his gun aimed at Emma. He lowers it immediately after realizing it’s her, but she doesn’t return the favor as she continues wielding a crowbar with intent to strike.

Confused, Kieran demands to know why Emma doesn’t trust him. She relays the message Piper gave her, claiming that he’s in fact the son of mass murderer Brandon James. He refutes the remark and claims ignorance to everything that’s happened tonight. Emma realizes that he hasn’t a clue about his father’s death and is forced to tell him. He’s clearly distraught by the news and willingly surrenders his revolver to Emma as a sign of good faith. The three go inside Brooke’s house where they split up to find her. Emma and Kieran stumble upon a clueless Jake wandering back onto the property, unaware of the killer at large. The three hear banging coming from the garage, where they find the locked freezer and free a shivering Brooke from the icy chamber.

Noah searches the poolside, coming across Audrey’s backpack and beloved camcorder. Assuming the worst, he screams in terror when Audrey suddenly startles him from behind after he comes across the dead partier. Seeing the knife wound on his friend’s arm, Noah asks what happened. Audrey claims she blacked out after running into the killer…who against all logic left her alive. Everyone safely gathers in the house, where Brooke informs Emma that there’s a working landline she can use to call for help. Kieran’s gun exchanges hands and eventually falls in Audrey’s possession as Emma receives a call from the killer on Brooke’s landline. Ghostface says he/she has Emma’s mom and leaves it up to the teen to figure out where. Given that the killer said earlier that this all ends tonight, she assumes it has to be at the dock where Brandon James was killed by the police back in the day.

Running through the woods, Emma discovers her mother bound and gagged on the pier. The killer corners her on the walkway, peeling off the mask at Emma’s demand. Surprise, surprise. It’s none other than Piper Shaw behind the Brandon James disguise. Apparently, she holds some grievances for Daisy being indirectly responsible for her father’s death and then later giving her up for adoption when half-sis, Emma, got “the perfect life.”

Piper’s plan is to set up Seth Branson, who she has tied up in the trunk of her car. Emma tries to attack Piper with the knife hiding behind her back, but Shaw’s wise to the plan and manages to slice Emma across the abdomen before she can strike. Maggie manages to free herself from her restraints and tackles Piper before she can kill Emma. The girls’ mother gets stabbed in the process, leaving the wounded Emma unguarded. The two share a struggle, but Piper ultimately gets the upper hand over Emma. The psychotic podcaster coos victoriously as she prepares to reveal a “big twist.” Suddenly, a gunshot blast sends Piper hurtling into the water. Audrey emerges from the woods with Kieran’s gun in hand, taking out Piper for good with a clean shot to the head when she emerges from the water.

All’s well that ends well…

But it’s not the end--not really.

Following the happy morning-after scene showing the survivors rejoicing in their victory, the character arcs come to a close. Emma and Kieran finally become an official couple. Seth Branson is freed from police custody. Jake erases the spyware from his computer, and Noah wraps up Piper’s “Autopsy of a Crime” podcast for her listeners. Despite the case coming to a close, he expresses his suspicions as to the night when Will and Piper were both attacked. Did she make it all up? The audience knows better, having seen the incident firsthand. As Noah’s voice-over combs through the scene, Audrey’s shown to be burning a bunch of letters sent to her by…you guessed it, Piper Shaw, along with stolen police notes from the original Brandon James case.

This television adaptation of the famed franchise definitely delivers in its season finale, but there is some criticism that can’t go ignored. For those familiar with CBS’s 2009 mini-series Harper’s Island, the big reveal shouldn’t come as much of a shock. As previously stated, the similarities between Scream and executive producer and writer Jill Blotevogel’s previous work, Harper’s Island, are staggering. So when it came down to predicting Scream’s killer, it only seemed logical to think that it mirrored the other series. And that logic didn’t disappoint, because they share the exact same reveal. As for Audrey’s unspoken compliance in the killings, it really just came down to commonsense. Was it really a twist? Not really. Are the unanswered questions really indecipherable? Not likely.

Given that Scream: The TV Series was originally planned to be a mini-series, there’s obvious concerns that extending this 10-episode plot will ruin the intrigue of what made it popular. If one attempted to predict future “twists,” they’d say that Brandon James isn’t really dead and that Emma’s father was the original killer. Plus, considering Scream is a notorious slasher franchise, it seems hard to imagine how they can rack up the same body count from season to season, if the show’s keeping the same cast. If Scream adapted into an anthology like American Horror Story, giving audiences a new mystery with completely new characters each season, it would be easy to keep the pace and story in check. Sadly, that’s not the case here. The same case and characters will return each season. It’s in the series’ best interest to keep the show running for as long as possible, leaving us all to fear that the series will become an eventual, convoluted mess à la Pretty Little Liars. Be afraid, people. Be very, very afraid. Nevertheless, season one wrapped up with bloody satisfaction.


Scream: The TV Series - “Revelations” Rating: A -
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